The kick – Arkell v Pressdram

This is a story that involved a fair amount of my time.

If you’re the sort of person who has a dog to bathe, go do that. I’m so not interested in whether you who may read this has a dog or not.

Points first summary:

  1. I interfaced with an organisation seeking to recruit me to their business.
  2. I was explicit that I needed to see and read their ‘Terms and Conditions’ before submitting any completed forms.
  3. 49 days later and after several phone-calls and emails, I have not received or read their ‘Terms and Conditions’.
  4. I give them the kick.
  5. I extract what I think is my understanding of human nature, in this.

And if you’re the sort of person who believes that only people with OCD or Asperger’s read fine print, you are served with the Private Eye response of 29th April 1971 in Arkell v. Pressdram response.

Nothing in this post refers to any identifiable individual organisation. This site cannot cater for persons of a psychologically weakened disposition. You are warned not to read further, if you know this sort of content will cause you psychological disturbance. ‘We’ owe you no duty of care. This means you are now totally responsible for any ill-health you may suffer if you read on. If in doubt move on. 

The kick

The following is my final email to them, giving the kick.

2020-11-10

You (including any person at Lxxxxxxiob) needs to read this email very carefully. There are no implied meanings in this correspondence.

You have sent me
1 –  [business] Workers Handbook,
2 – an application form, and
3 – a sample contract.

Within 5 minutes I can see the following:

The Handbook states, “All Candidates are required to complete Lxxxxxxiob’s application form before their employment commences with the xxxx/xxxx/Client. Within the application you will accept Lxxxxxxiob terms and conditions. Some information will need to be updated annually to maintain your compliance.

 

The application form says, “In addition, I acknowledge receipt of Lxxxxxxiob’s Terms and Conditions and The Lxxxxxxiob Handbook and confirm I will abide by the contents of both documents.” This means that the Terms and Conditions are separate to the Handbook. Nowhere is it said that the Handbook is ‘the Terms and Conditions’ or part of it.

 

The sample contract, says, “Our standard Terms and Conditions apply to this booking. By proceeding with this booking, you acknowledge that you have read and accept our Conditions.”

The three documents refer to Terms and Conditions. After all my emails and being brutally explicit, I am yet to see the ‘Terms and Conditions’ which would relate to any contractual obligations that I might opt to enter into. I am not entering into a debate on what ‘Terms and Conditions’ mean to Lxxxxxxiob. It is totally irrelevant if I am the first or only person encountered who has taken this approach, because I have already been explicit as to my approach to legally binding contracts.

On 23rd Sept 2020 I said, >>Send me the following:1. The standard contractual terms in written form (in PDF or MS word format) with all fineprint that may exist – which is applicable to my signing up with Lxxxxxxiob. (Consult a lawyer, if you don’t quite understand what that means).<<
I also said on 23rd Sept >>But when I say I am fussy (extreme attention to detail), you really have no idea what that means. Note also that I don’t like the usual clarifying of things that are blindingly obvious, or re-confirming what is clear. <<

You and your [business] explicitly stated to me in a telephone conversation on 22nd Sept that there was a commitment to transparency. At 17:01 23rd Sept responding to my email, you said

….on a serious note I have spoken with my head compliance officer and listed below what we need to have you compliant to work with us.

That email contained a list of documents which I had also sought. However it did not contain the contractual ‘Terms and Conditions’  requested on earlier 23rd Sept.

The hard evidence in this thread, is that I have not been provided with the ‘standard Terms and Conditions’, at any time from 22nd September 2020 having been very clear about it. It would appear that I am having to pull teeth. That is the situation that would be observable to any reasonable person, who need not be legally qualified.

I reasonably conclude based on the evidence available to us both, that overall there is a lack of transparency and a lack of attention to relevant detail (i.e. handing over the Terms and Conditions – which remains elusive at this time). My conclusions are based on hard evidence. My conclusions are not open to debate.

I’ve been here with other [businesses] before now. I gave you as an individual a good chance, because you seemed to be a hard working chap. But this is business – nothing about you personally. I have nothing against you. Ultimately I’m dealing with a business entity. At this point from my experience, ‘[businesses]’ usually conclude that I’m a difficult so and so, who may cause trouble later on – though they don’t say that. Then they withdraw from business with me. I don’t know what your [business] will do, but the latter is my probability estimate.

Therefore, in advance of any chance of Lxxxxxxiob informing me that they do not wish to contact me further, I declare that I now terminate all conversations electronic or otherwise with your [business] or its representatives. This means – and you really need to read this and the following, to avoid causing yourselves trouble with the Information Commissioner:

1 – DO NOT respond to this email by any means, with acknowledgement.
2 – DO NOT seek any clarifications, or make good any apparent misunderstandings, or differences of perspective.
3-  DO NOT send me an apology, because I am not offended. My decisions and conclusions are based on business and legal standards.
4 – DELETE all and any information you may hold on me, which would include all telephone numbers and email addresses.
5 – DO NOT by any process direct or indirect, whether computerised or outsourced, share any information on me with any other entity.
6 – DO NOT directly or indirectly communicate any information about me that may relate to this exchange of emails, or any other matter that may be construed by another person so as to put me in a bad light.
7 – DO NOT assume that I have changed my mind on any of the above at a future point in time.
8 – DO NOT fail on any of the above by human or technology error.

I have given you and your [business] too much time. Had I been provided with the full Terms and Conditions promptly, this sequence would not have unfolded.

As I have requested that you DO NOT respond to this email, I will assume that you and your [business] have carried out my legally appropriate requests.

Should I receive at any point in the future any (including a single) communication that I construe as arising from Lxxxxxxiob or you representing Lxxxxxxiob, I will report the matter to the police on grounds of harassment and to the Information Commissioner for further action. This is not an allegation at this time that you have harassed me or will do so. My statement is only to ensure that I have been explicit about consequences.

Please read the above again, carefully.

Perceptions and inferences

I make the following based on what I see in the above, the whole email thread (which I have not disclosed), AND based on experience of similar situations. These are not up for debate.
  1. People do not read emails properly. If they do, then they do not take time to think and process.
  2. People have ideas in their own heads, which become their reality. As a result, they lose sight of what may be the reality in another person’s head or external to all heads.
  3. People are lazy. In the above situation  i.e. thinking that passing this to a compliance officer will be a great idea, instead of thinking ‘what’s this guy asking for?’.
  4. People are inattentive i.e. it’s the norm in emails or even conversations to ask for X number of issues to be addressed, and people will return with X – n (meaning short on the list) without reason.
  5. People in businesses are occupied with making profits (or limiting loss) instead working to deliver the widely accepted standards.
  6. Because other ‘people’ (like clients/customers) are not demanding of delivery of standards and transparency, businesses are ‘groomed’ into a pattern of thinking/behaviour, that the next person fits the model in their heads. As I’ve said so many times before, ‘patterns are pre-determinative’.

The above is about people in organisations and some private individuals I have observed. I do not imply that ‘people’ means ‘everybody’. I have not done a statistical survey on the above. I have drawn conclusions based on my contact with ‘people’. My sample of people will obviously be different to other people. Any apparent bias is the result of probable ‘selection biases’ arising from a particular group of people I need to interface with. I have no control over that.

The individual above appeared to be highly motivated but he isn’t aware to what extent his organisation’s culture affects his performance. I’m not here to diagnose organisations or people, point out their flaws and help them. That’s not my role and there is no gain for me from doing that.

Conclusions

I give people a fair chance. I am explicit about how I am and what I am about. I’ll give people – as I often say – four ends of the rope. But there comes a point where I have to say ‘enough.. no point continuing with this‘. I can and do expect people representing businesses to operate to certain well defined standards. I also give them four ends of the rope.

At times I appear to waste time with these people. It’s not totally a waste of time because I only do this occasionally. I keep evidence of these things, so that I know what I’m talking about when some time after I have a sound reference for what I say about the patterns of operation of people and businesses.

Disclaimer & Guidance

The reading of posts on this blog is subject to the Terms & Conditions. Unpalatable truths and personal experiences may be told. Nothing posted on this blog is directed at any identified person. On occasions individuals are quoted anonymously. That does not mean that they have been identified to the world. Should any person or organisation reading this blog find something that makes them feel or know that they  are being referred to – any such perceived identification does not mean ‘identified to the world’. ‘Stupid‘ is an impish figment of my imagination who occasionally is allowed to pop up – and does not represent any known individual, individuals or groups. The treatment of  ‘Stupid‘ is not representative of the way people are treated in real life. Adverse inferences made are dismissed in advance.  

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